Academy 2020 Courses

Course Information

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Academy Course 1: The Art of Writing Client Reports

Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Angela Packer McGhie, CGWriting effective research reports can be a difficult skill to master. This course will provide instruction and hands-on experience creating each section of a report. A team of professional genealogists will share their expertise in technical writing, evidence analysis, incorporating visual elements, organizing material, time-saving strategies, and documentation. They will share examples of a variety of reporting formats covering simple to complex research problems from a variety of professional perspectives. Participants will learn both by evaluating provided reports and writing a research report during the week. Students should bring a laptop to work on practice exercises in class and complete writing assignments.

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Academy Course 2: You're Invited: Public Speaking from Concept to Delivery

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLSThe ability to transform an initial concept to a full-fledged presentation delivered in front of an audience might seem like a daunting adventure for many professionals. This interactive course is ideal for existing speakers seeking to brush up on their skills and expand their portfolios and anyone seeking to explore how public speaking might align with their aspirations.

This intensive week explores key components of public speaking for genealogists: the “business of speaking,” outlining contracts, pricing, legal considerations, and marketing techniques; “knowing your audience,” focusing on crafting an array of presentations, keeping lectures current, and answering conference proposal requests; “development,” including details on developing handouts, slide presentations, and other visuals; and “delivery,” centered on finding a speaking style, avoiding pitfalls, structuring your presentations, and the opportunity to present two “mini-sessions” to solicit feedback and advice from fellow students and course instructors.

A variety of speaking opportunities will be discussed, including traditional one-hour sessions, seminars, workshops, webinars, institute courses, public programming, continued education courses, and national and regional conferences.

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Academy Course 3: Building and Nurturing a Successful Genealogy Business

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CGThinking about opening a genealogy business? Interested in improving your existing business? This course is for you.

Required Textbook: Mills, Elizabeth Shown, editor. Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2018.

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Academy Course 4: DNA for the 21st-Century Professional

Angie Bush, MS

Angie Bush, MSDNA testing has grown in popularity to the point that the public and many amateur genealogists equate DNA testing to genealogy. As professional genealogists in the 21st century, it is imperative that we be as familiar and comfortable with using DNA test results as we are with using census and vital records. The purpose of this course is to familiarize professionals with educational resources; tools and methodologies to streamline the integration of documents and DNA; application of DNA tests results to genealogical research questions; presentation of that information to clients in an understandable format; and the ethical issues surrounding DNA testing.

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Academy Course 5: Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy

Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG

Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CGCome explore your potential role in the fast-growing field of forensic genealogy. The instructors—all experienced, practicing forensic genealogists—will introduce students to a broad spectrum of topics. Mornings will be spent exploring business practices, work products and skill development, while afternoons will delve into the types of work in which forensic genealogists engage. Students will learn the fundamental skills needed to establish or strengthen their own forensic genealogy practice.

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Academy Course 6: Writing and Documenting for Peer Review

Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, FUGA

Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, FUGAPeer review is an essential element of every academic pursuit, including genealogy. The vetting of articles and other work products ensures that the author or applicant is conforming to standards dictated by that discipline. Within the field of genealogy, our scholarly journals present peer-reviewed written work adhering to best practices and genealogy standards. Peer reviewers/judges for our credentialing bodies—the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Genealogists (ICAPGen)—determine whether our knowledge, our analysis, and final products demonstrate consistent high-quality work. Study groups and writing groups present us with opportunities to act as peer reviewers ourselves. This course will examine the peer-review system from several angles, arming students with the tools and knowledge they need to achieve success.

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Academy Course 7: Project Management Essentials for the Professional Genealogist

Brent M. Hansen, DBA, PMP, IPMA-C

Brent Hansen, DBA, PMP, IMPA-CWe can all use more understanding of the organization and proven processes to help in the work that we do. In genealogy, a well-planned, well-managed project provides clarity, reduces risk, controls cost, and delivers value to the client. This course has been developed for the professional genealogist, that might be working independently, transitioning to an organization or experience in a larger organization.

In this course, you will learn the fundamentals and best practices of project management through theories, cases, templates and hands-on exercises. Ensuring that you are delivering business value by assessing a project’s case, identifying key people and their relationship to your project, capturing essential requirements, developing effective communication and establishing quality metrics to guide in the development of the genealogy research plan and the delivery of your project. Define genealogy project scope to provide clarity for project delivery and define project scope for the team. Manage your project within the planned budget and schedule by managing change and identifying and managing risks, assumptions, and constraints. Track the delivery of business value and close projects out cleanly. The instructors will share best practices and proven project management technics. You will be introduced to new ways of thinking about old problems. By the end of this course, you should have gained a good understanding and experience of the core competencies that make a successful project manager.

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